Value is Relative and Challenge Screening
“Value is relative.”
Almost everyone I’ve met has no idea why this matters and no idea that this is the secret to getting to the next level, getting girls you currently think are waay outside your league without having to manipulate them through any tricky techniques or run any ‘game.’ This is the game of “no-game.”
It’s important at the outset to distinguish between high-value, high-status, and high-quality. I’m talking mainly about value here and only incidentally will what I say also apply to status and quality, though of course, status and quality are also relative, though status is less so. And of course, when I say ‘value,’ I mean ‘social value.’ I’ve been asked to expand more on high status game. Well, this is one integral component in interacting and attracting “high-status” women.
I must emphasize that you should forget all about what you’ve probably heard about “social value” and what it means. I don’t think anyone else has really elaborated on the secret weapon hidden in the idea that “value is relative.” Read this post with a fresh and open mind.
I’m going to discuss this on two levels.
1. The INTERNALLY-DRIVEN level: What’s going on in your mind and the correct mindset and frame to have.
2. The EXTERIOR level: What it often looks like from the outside, what someone who is listening to your conversations and watching you interact with people would see and hear.
1. The INTERNALLY-DRIVEN Level
Imagine you’re sitting with your buddies at the bar of a really nice nightclub. You’re just chilling and having a good time. Then in walks the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever seen. Perfect measurements. Silky, smooth skin. Turning heads with every step. Oozing sexuality with every breath. She’s surrounded by an entourage of admiring alpha males, fawning handlers, and devoted fans. What’s her social value?
It’s a trick question.
Some guys think that what determines a woman’s social value isn’t how hot she is. They’re right about this.
What they say, though, is that what matters is how the other people in the venue perceive and act towards her. If she has a lot of admirers, if a lot of guys in the club think she’s the shit, then probably she’s as high as a 9 or even a highly elusive 10. Even if most guys would agree she’s not nearly as physically attractive as the drop-dead gorgeous girl sitting by herself at the bar, her social value, according to them, is determined by how other people view and treat her and thus, the higher value girl can in these cases be the less attractive girl.
Now there is some sense here. This view of what defines a ‘high value girl’ was partly created to help guys determine how they should ‘game’ the girl. If everybody in the venue thinks she’s a 10, then you have to ‘game her as a 10,’ whatever that means. This applies, so they say, even if, after you strip away all the external trappings of fame, like the entourage of bodyguards and handlers, she’s just a 6 in looks compared to that lonely beauty at the bar, whom no one notices but who most guys would agree is a 9 in looks. So this views holds that instead of rating girls based on how your nether region feels about them, you should rate girls based on how other people treat them.
Before I point out the shortcomings to this view, I wish to highlight another alternative that has often been neglected.
Not only can we take into account how other people treat the girl, more importantly, we can take into account how she views herself. Why is this even more crucial than how other people view her?
In terms of how she interacts with other people, if she perceives her own social value to be really high, like a 9, and she has a killer strong frame, then, according to this second view, even if no one else in the bar thinks she’s a 9, she will respond to you as if she were a 9, and if you want to get her, you’ll have to take that into account and ‘game her’ like a 9. This is the case when she’s very internally referenced and doesn’t give a shit what other people think of her; she ‘knows’ that she’s a 9, and she will respond to you as a 9.
Imagine the opposite scenario, where everyone in the club thinks she’s a 10, but she herself thinks she’s only a 6. Are you going to ‘game her’ as a 10? If you do, and she truly believes she’s a 6, then, according to this second view, you’ll probably blow yourself out, lacking believability.
This second view has a lot going for it, too. If you’re going to take into account other people’s evaluations of value, it’s often more important to take into account the girl’s own perception of her value.
While both of these perspectives are good, there is a much better way to determine social value.
YOU are the one and only judge of her social value. This is the strongest position to take.
If “social value” means what is valuable to society, then you can be a society of one. You can be the sole arbiter of what is important and valued. You are your own society. If you believe in your own value hierarchy strongly enough, and if your frame is tight, then other people will adopt your hierarchy of values. That’s the profound implication of the idea that value is relative.
In your reality, YOU are the only person whose opinion really matters. You can take everyone else’s opinion under advisement to help inform your final evaluation, but the only judgment that really matters is your own.
This is why being internally referenced, rather than externally referenced, is so important. Almost every guy who is great with women is at least 80% (if not more) internally referenced. That is, they look primarily to themselves and not to others in making decisions and forming opinions.
Here’s a simple example. Let’s say one guy really values tall girls, maybe because they remind him of runway models, and he thinks runway models are high value. When this guy sees a 6′ tall girl (182 cm), he immediately gives her a high score.
But then imagine another guy, who is into the cute schoolgirl type (note: the girl in the cosplay pic is an adult; apparently, some Japanese guys really go for this look). Maybe this guy is himself tall and doesn’t think being tall is all that big a deal (my experience is that most tall players, like guys 6’3′ (190cm) and up, don’t really care that much about how tall she is). Or maybe all his ex-girlfriends were tall, and he doesn’t like girls that remind him of them. Or whatever. The point is that being too tall, like 6′, is actually a turn-off to him. So, he immediately gives the 6′ tall girl a lower than average score.
This is a pretty obvious example. We could run the exact same thought experiment on just about every feature: hair color, skin color, the shape and size of various facial features, bust size, hip size, etc. I’ve heard plenty of guys, especially in China, say they think Jessica Alba looks just okay, whereas I and plenty of other guys think she’s the bomb. That’s because beauty is relative.
But we’re not just talking about physical beauty here.
This really came home to me when I started to get really good at screening and qualifying. See my article on Believability.
My standards went higher when I actively and self-consciously took on a true screening frame.
Not only did my own standards go up, but I noticed they sometimes deviated from my wings’ standards. After all, the better you get, the pickier you get. For instance, while in America, I started looking exclusively for girls who were really into Asian culture. If a girl didn’t at least know the difference between nigiri sushi and sashimi, or if she wasn’t interested in traveling through Asia, I was instantly turned off. We could be friends, but I’m not going to bother investing 3-4 hours on a date forming an intimate connection with her.
This became really powerful for me because I realized that when I had TRUE STANDARDS, I could hold my own evaluations of women, and they would buy into my frame and would work harder to meet my standards.
Even if all my friends and all the guys in the club and the girl herself thought that she was a 9, if I thought she was just a 6, I would have a much easier time flirting, teasing, and busting on her than my friends and the other guys there. [Note: When you’re really smitten with a girl, it is often best to just drop the pretense and go genuine interest direct. In fact, if you’re going to do genuine interest direct, it is most effective if you are sincerely blown away by her, so they are symbiotic. See my article on Believability for more on this.]
The converse was true too. Occasionally, a girl passed all my screens with flying colors, making me kind of nervous because I found myself really starting to like the girl and getting too attached to the outcome. Then my buddy, who doesn’t value the same things in a girl could come along and have an easier time just being cool with her because he was not outcome-dependent and was ready to walk away from her.
I then realized that if your frame is strong, then the only determination of value that makes any difference to how you socialize is your own. The only thing that matters is how much value YOU give the girl.
Why? Because value is relative.[And here I go on a slight tangent: To rate a girl on ‘value’? What does this really say? When I read a rating, like some guy says the girl he just picked up is a HB9, what does it generally tell me?
The only good reason to rate girls in your report is if you’re comparing or differentiating two or more girls in your report. That is, if one girl is a 9 and one is a 7, you want to say that you thought the first girl was two points higher than the second girl, and that’s why you picked the 9 instead of the 7 as your target. Or, if both girls were a 8, you’re telling me you thought both girls were equally attractive.
More often that not, a girl’s rating in a field report tells me A LOT more about the writer’s insecurities than about the girl herself. Rather than giving girls ratings, it is far better to give a vivid description of the girl and allow us to form our own opinions.]
All right, then, how does this make a difference in your style of attraction?
Before I go into a specific technique that you can apply right away, I’ll explain the mindset.
A girl may think she’s the shit. Everyone around her may think she’s the shit. But if YOU really, truly don’t give a shit, then she’s going to feel it, and if she’s emotionally strong and challenges you, you’re going to get a battle of frame control. If you win, which you should since very few people are really conscious of frame control, she’ll start to adopt your evaluation of her. She’ll start to work for your approval. You withhold your approval until she earns it. You escalate only when she’s earned it.
This is the power of screening and qualifying.
Another example: Many of the girls I dated in China were involved in the entertainment industry somehow. They often dropped names, trying to impress me. At least, that’s how I interpreted it. They would say something like, ‘And here’s a photo of me shooting that commercial with [the Chinese equivalent of George Clooney],’ or ‘Here’s me on set with [the Chinese equivalent of Martin Scorsese],’ or ‘I’ve worked on movies with [a list of famous directors and actors].’
The great thing is that I’m woefully ignorant of Asian pop culture. I know more than most Asian-Americans but that’s not saying much at all. One of my goals when I got back to Beijing last September was to catch up on all the pop culture.
When these hotties were trying to impress me and recover their frame, it totally didn’t work.
They talked about how they worked with some famous person and then saw the blank look on my face and asked, ‘You know who [some famous actor or director] is, right?’
Me: ‘Uh, the name sounds familiar. But, no not really.’
HB: ‘What? Well, how about [some other famous person.] I worked on his last movie.’
Me (with a goofy smile): ‘Huh? Nope. Don’t know him. And haven’t seen that.’
Since I was a ‘foreigner,’ my ignorance was somewhat understandable.
Every attempt by her to impose her frame that she is the prize and has higher value totally fell flat with me because I honestly didn’t know who she was talking about. LOL. Eventually, I started to pick up on the names, but I am still to this day woefully ignorant of Asian pop culture compared to the average Asian local or FOB. And I’m now perfectly happy this way.
I kept interpreting their frame-control attempts as bids to impress me (as signs of interest from her). And I’d reward them with qualifications as if they had just passed one of my screens.
Me (very casually): ‘Wow, that’s cool, though, that you’re in all these movies. You should show me one of those some time.’
HB (thinking either, “Gosh, I’m going to have to do a lot more to impress this guy,” or “Damn, I’ll show him, and he’ll worship me like all those other guys,” either of which work in my favor): ‘Uh, yeah sure.’
Now imagine this situation in the West. Some hot girl says, ‘My last boyfriend was Jamie Foxx, and he used to drive me around town in his Hummer. Sometimes, though, he’d be lazy, and he’d just have his driver take us around in the Bentley.’ For the average guy, it’s going to be hard not to be impressed or intimidated.
But if you can hold your frame, you can totally turn this around. Your frame in this should be that you must be one mutha-fuckin sexy dude because you don’t have a Hummer or a Bentley or any thing near the cash and material luxuries that Jamie Foxx can provide, but this girl is still really into you; in fact, she’s so into you that she’s giving you her dating resume, trying to impress you.
I had to do this exact reframe when a girl snuck this in on me when I was tired and had my guard down. I knew who the male Chinese TV star was because she had already pointed him out to me in a magazine. And then the next day, she dropped the bomb that he was her ex-BF from a few months ago and that he used to drive her around in his Hummer or had his driver pick her up in either his Bentley or Benz. For their first date, he flew her and her girlfriend to a coastal city to accompany him for a week while he was filming on location. She said all this as if she was expecting me to be jealous. Clever girl 😉
Okay, my recovery wasn’t great by any means. But eventually, I was able to reframe it, and it all worked out in my favor. I was the guy getting unprecedented levels of investment from a girl who’s used to men, including TV stars, supplicating to her and spending loads of cash and exerting tons of effort. (Credit: Sebastian Drake for first teaching me about the importance of compliance.)
For instance, she had never purchased a present for a man ever, except her dad. Meanwhile, she was treating me to stuff and putting in all kinds of effort, doing things she had never done for another man before. She verbalized this to me later on.
All this was because I was able to hold my frame that she was trying to impress me and that I am a 10, regardless of material possessions, which are actually irrelevant if your frame is strong. If your frame is strong and you have your fundamentals handled, girls will gladly give up beachside mansions, first-class flights, and chauffered Bentleys just to ride on the back of a bike with YOU.
In conclusion, the social value of a girl can be determined solely by you. If your frame is strong, it really doesn’t matter what other people think her value is, nor does it even matter what she thinks her value is.
Granted, most people will not have the mental and emotional strength or the ‘inner game’ necessary to bend a girl who thinks, along with everyone else in the club, that she’s a 10.
So work on it. Visualizations and affirmations are crucial, as are positive reference experiences inâ€“field. I’m sure hypnotherapy would help, though I haven’t tried this route myself.
If you truly believe that you are a 10, and you really do have high standards, then what everyone else thinks is a 10 may really only be a 6 to you. And if your frame is strong, then everyone else, including the girl herself, will begin to view and treat her as a 6 instead of a 10.
Then again, a girl that you judge to be a 10 may seem to your wings and even to herself to be only a 6. And that’s fine, too, as long as you realize that your estimation of her is higher than most people’s. If you sincerely think she’s a 10 and that everyone else is just blind to her ‘real’ value, then you should hold to your evaluation and be internally referenced here. If you do this right, the 6 will totally fall in love with you for seeing the 10 inside her.
So in the end, if your mindset and attitudes are strong, the only opinion that truly matters is your own.
2. The EXTERIOR Level
There are many ways that this kind of frame control can play out. I will describe one method that I’ve developed to aid me in maintaining my frame with certain types of girls that I value more highly than most.
I call it Challenge Screening.
I’ve used it to good effect on models, actresses, dancers, stewardesses, musicians, visual artists, and other professionals.
While I’ve now learned this technique well enough that it comes naturally and relatively effortlessly, at the beginning, I had to apply a lot of mental focus to trick my mind into throwing off the limiting beliefs that came from being externally referenced.
Basically, Challenge Screening is different from screening and qualifying in that it’s a more intense application of profession-specific screening. The qualification (reward) is reserved until her bitch shield drops.
You should apply Challenge Screening when the girl is being cold or mean, and you feel intimidated by a girl’s social standing and feel that it is making her arrogant or snobby and hence, that it is at the foundation of the bitch shield she is putting up between you and her.
A key component here is your sub-communication, which is hard to describe in words. If you really don’t believe in your frame, then it won’t matter what you say. She’ll see right through you. That’s why the inner aspect is so crucial. But I’ll assume that you’re well on your way to handling the mindset and beliefs aspects of it.
This technique is ideal if you’re intimidated by girls of a certain type, for example, models, actresses, go-go dancers, strippers, or whatever.
It requires that you know something about the industry that intimidates or impresses you.
Think for a moment about an industry or field that you know a lot about. One for me is jazz. A lot of people think they know something about jazz music. But my experience is that the vast majority of them really have no clue what they’re talking about, and I can find this out just by asking a few simple questions. When I find the rare jazz aficionado who does know what he’s talking about, I get quite excited and become much more invested in the conversation. This is the dynamic you’re after.
A girl says she’s a model. Your reality is: Well, you’ve dated models. You’ve had models as your best friends. You know the industry. So you’re going to see how much of a model she really is, if she knows what she’s talking about, and if she’s worth your time. That’s the frame.
Keep in mind that if your frame and inner game are strong, you won’t have to consciously employ this technique. It’ll just come naturally as a result of your high standards and social calibration.
The best way to illustrate this is to give you a taste of dialogue.
Here’s Challenge Screening applied to a fashion model.
About a minute into the interaction, HBModel says in a snobby tone: ‘I’m a model,’ expecting you to be intimidated.
Some guys, especially back in the heydey of Mystery Method, might have said, ‘Oh, really? A hand model?’ But the correct frame here is that she is trying to impress you. So that neg would take the interaction backwards, punishing her for her good behavior (trying to impress you). Instead, you should reward her “indicator of interest” with further interest.
Me: ‘Yeah, you’ve got a great look (said casually, but with genuine appreciation). My ex-girlfriend worked with Elite in Hong Kong (again said casually). Do you do mostly print or runway?’
HB (looking shocked that you’re not worshiping her yet): ‘I do a bit of bothâ€¦ (pause; hold the tension)â€¦ but mainly print these days.’
Me (nodding with approval): ‘Hmmâ€¦ photographic is very competitive these days.’
HB (smiling): ‘Yeah, I just finished an all day shoot. I’ve been on my feet the whole day.’
Me (smiling back): ‘You need a drink girl! Cheers to that!’
At this point, Challenge Screening is over. The model has let her guard down. You’ve shown competence over her world and shown that you are not intimidated in the least by her occupation or beauty. In fact, you are in a position to evaluate and approve of her. She sees you as the dominant person in the interaction. You can proceed as normal.
What if she continues the bitch shield? Then, continue with Challenge Screening.
I will give you an extreme example. This only happened to me once. I use this to demonstrate how far you can take it.
This happened with a drop dead gorgeous, very tall, tanned, and toned Chinese model with great curves, dreamy almond eyes, and sporting black, skin-tight spandex tights and a thin, tight black sweater. Like that vivid description? LOL.
It started the same:
About a minute into the interaction, HBModel says in a snobby tone: ‘I’m a model.’
HB (looking shocked that you’re not worshiping her yet): ‘I do both… I just did a shoot today.’
Me (nodding with approval): ‘Hmm photographic is very competitive these days.’
Here’s where it differed:
HB nods, but doesn’t say anything. She looks a little bored.
Me: ‘Are you exclusive or freelance?’
HB (looking a little surprised that I asked this): ‘Uh, I’m with [well-known international agency].’
Me: ‘Do you do much testing?’
HB: ‘Uh, no not any more.’
Me: ‘Good for you… So you must have done some editorial then.’
HB (starting to turn to face me more): ‘Yes, I just did one last week for [some foreign fashion magazine that I forget now].’
Me: ‘Nice. Those are really prestigious.’
HB: ‘Thanks.’ Then silence, but she kept looking at me.
Me: ‘How many castings are you getting in an average week?’
HB: ‘Castings? Too many… Usually, about five or six. But during fashion weeks, it can be several a day.’
Me (light reward touch on the arm): ‘Nice. Your agency booker must really like you.’
HB (turning completely to me and smiling): ‘Thanks.’
Me: ‘Are you thinking about moving into acting?’
HB: ‘OMG, how did you know? I had a part in that Feng Xiaogang movie (big name Chinese director), [name of a fairly recent movie]! We were on location for months! Here, look at these pictures.’ She then took out her camera and started to show me amazing shots of a remote region of western China.
Challenge Screening over.
I got this question train from Leil Lowndes’s How to Talk to Anyone About Anything. An awesome book I highly recommend.
To make it easier for you to see what I was doing, here’s the bare bones question train for models. I use this as kind of a cheat sheet.
‘Yes, you have a great look.’
1. Do you do mostly print or runway?
a. Print Photographic or print is very competitive.
b. Runway It takes talent to twirl on runways.
c. Showroom ‘What are your special tricks for staying cheerful during long hours showing clothes to buyers?’
2. Are you exclusive or freelance?
a. Exclusive ‘Which agency are you signed with?’
3. Do you do much testing?
a. For wannabes and newer models
4. Have you done any editorial?
a. Editorial Most prestigious fashion shoots
b. Catalog or advertising What pays the bills
5. How many castings/looks-sees/go-sees do you have in an average week?
a. Low Express admiration that she doesn’t have to go running around to get work.
b. High Express admiration that her agency booker must really like her.
6. Do you plan to move into acting?
7. Do you have your head shot or composite with you?
a. ‘Nice commercial shot, but it doesn’t capture your tremendous presence.’
Now obviously, you shouldn’t just shoot these questions out one after the other. Weave them into the conversation in a natural way. Ask the first question, listen to her response, and respond to that. Don’t just ask the next question in a mechanical manner. Only if she gives you silence or a one-word answer should you jump directly into the next question. You want to avoid sounding like an interviewer or setting off a confrontational vibe. This is you screening her to see if she’s really ‘all that.’
Remember that this is just what it looks like from the outside. You don’t have to use the exact questions. If your frame is right, and you know something about the industry, you’ll come up with the right questions naturally. These questions are just suggestions to get you started.
If you use these questions, you will very likely not have to go past question three. Just showing a little dominance over their ‘world’ is enough.
It’s also good to mention a personal connection. I like to mention that my ex-girlfriend was with Elite in Hong Kong, or that my current girlfriend is a fashion model, or that I’ve sworn off dating models.
Another favorite industry of mine has become stewardesses or ‘flight attendants’ (the PC term).
My personal connections are some ex-lovers of mine. I might even show her photos of my ex-lovers in their Singapore Airlines uniforms. That always get nods of approval. And a great insider’s question is whether she’s a “blue” or a “brown.” Insiders will understand what this means.
Here is my cheat sheet for the bare bones question train for stewardesses.
1. Who do you fly for?
2. Do you fly international or domestic?
3. What’s your favorite layover?
4. Do you bid for routes?
a. Are you senior enough to get the routes you want?
5. What kind of travel privileges do you get?
I usually don’t go past question three. I got these from Lowndes’s book as well.
Here are a couple more of my cheat sheets.
1. What instrument do you play?
2. Are you working on anything now?
3. Do you do any studio work? Do you play in clubs?
4. Are you gigging now? Do you have a steady gig?
5. Do you prefer playing live or in the studio?
6. Are you signed to a recording contract?
a. How did your record chart? How many units did it do?
7. Do you think a recording artist can do better on a major label or an indie?
8. What artist influenced you when you were starting out?
9. Who are the outstanding makers of your instruments?
10. In what direction are you taking your music now?
1. What kind of dancing do you do?
2. Are you performing now?
3. Are you in a company?
4. When is your season?
5. What are you performing this season?
6. Have had you had the opportunity to do any work as a soloist or a principal?
7. Do you get most of your work through auditions or recommendations?
If you know Lowndes’s book, you’ll recognize my debts.
I’m a bit of a musician myself, so I can go into a lot more depth for musicians depending on the genre of music they do. For dancers, I usually don’t get past question three.
The whole point of Challenge Screening is to help you assert your frame. This is most obvious with models and actresses, but I have met recording artists and high-level professional dancers who think they’re all the shit, too.
Remember that this is only for girls who think their social value is much higher than yours and hence, try to use their occupation (big shot actress or famous dancer) as a bitch shield to intimidate you. You just need to show you’re not intimidated and that you can connect with her and show dominance over this part of her world as well.
I’m giving out my cheat sheets here, so you better appreciate it 😉 I’m keeping my cheat sheet for actresses to myself, as that’s proven especially rewarding for me 😉
I encourage you to develop your own cheat sheets for whatever field or industry you’re interested in.
Ideally, you will not need to memorize or consciously apply any techniques. If your frame is strong, then other people will be sucked into your reality and will naturally adopt your value hierarchies. That’s ultimately what you’re aiming for. Techniques like Challenge Screening are simply provisional tools to help you in the process of achieving that stage.
Feedback appreciated â˜º
Happy playin’, The Asian Rake.
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How to Create Attraction–The Right Way (Podcast Interview)
Mark Manson Interview with David Tian at Aura Dating Academy – “Inside the Players’ Lounge”
Honesty as the Cornerstone of Attraction and How to Demolish Your Deepest Insecurities in Dating: 21 Convention Full Talk with Outline
The Limits of Personality Change: Some Reflections
Singapore Dating Academy AURA’s Full-Page Feature Article in Singapore’s Highest Circulation Newspaper, The Straits Times